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Human Spinal Cord Modulation Device Aims to Relieve Chronic Pain

spinal cord_deviceA new device called the Human Spinal Cord Modulation System (HSCMS) is designed to relieve chronic pain. Scientists developed the new device to deliver therapeutic stimulation in a more targeted way, essentially reaching nerve fibers deep within the spinal cord. HSCMS is engineered to be in direct contact with the spinal cord, and is held in place by a small loop of wire.

As the spinal cord moves during standard patient activity, the loop had to exert enough pressure for the device to stay in contact with the spinal cord, but not so much that the pressure causes direct injury or restricts blood flow. To test the pressure, researchers attached the device to a silicone model of the spinal cord previously developed to have the same biomechanical characteristics of living tissue.

The research team then slowly compressed the small loop, measuring the pressure exerted on the silicone model. The results, which will be published in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Journal of Applied Physics, show the loop design exerts pressure at a similar level that is normally found on the spinal cords of healthy individuals.

As such, the Medical News Today report states the HSCMS passes an important safety test for further development of the device. An estimated half of the 35,000 patients implanted with spinal cord stimulators to treat chronic pain reportedly receive very limited pain relief, the report indicates.

Source: Medical News Today